Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From Monday

It's Monday now, and tomorrow morning I leave for Sri Lanka. Today I was able to do the last of the health education and teach them how to use the medications and supplies we brought. I pray they will bring some relief. 

Nick taught a classes all day at the bible college on the Holy Spirit. They spent time praying together to close.

I leave thankful for the full time we've had here, and praising God for at how much we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. >
*Betsy has safely arrived in Sri Lanka! Continue to pray for endurance, health, and safe travels.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

From Sunday

As I write in my journal we are sitting in front, behind the pulpit at David's church. I'm hoping it looks like I'm taking notes.  Nick just started preaching, wearing his "longyi" (skirt). I don't think they quite know what to do with his sense of humor.

We've already had almost 2 hours of worship, special music by the students and children, and 15-20 minutes of simultaneous prayer. 

 Pastor Doug from Wisconsin just leaned over and said to me "the children can't stop staring at you, they've never seen a woman so tall!"  It's true, Burmese people definitely are not tall.  It's hard to tell if children and adults alike stop and stare (even take pictures of us) because we are white or because of my height. At least they're entertained!

 The city is busy and crowded, yet there's a certain innocence about Yangon - it seems less scathed by western influence and the depravity of modern society than many other capital cities in Southeast Asia.  

But that is quickly changing. It's only been in the last 6 months to a year that the country has opened to change and with it tourism, increasing presence of embassy's and products from outside the country - like new, tiny cars.  

We visited the Schwedagon Pagoda (Buddhist temple) last night. It's the biggest in the world, and is also home to some of the largest bugs I've ever seen! 

Walking around barefoot was a little gross with cockroaches and who knows what other kinds of bugs a scittering around on the ground. Nick, Kate and I had a contest to see who had the most dead bugs on the bottom of their feet when we left.

It's bizarre to see how people come from all over the world to this place for enlightenment, and all they find is smiling cloned statues covered in gold leaf, neon lights, and disgusting bugs. 

The highlight of the weekend was, for me, spending some time at the children's home. They are precious. We were admiring their new triple tier bunk beds, and some of the little girls came up and started fanning me. Kate translated for me that they were talking to each other about how much sweat was on my face! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Update & Graduation

Yesterday I was able to complete assessments of all 70 children from the children's home! This is a huge answer to prayer, as our time here is so limited. 

Some of the problems we've been able to help with by giving them some health and hygiene teaching, using the donated  medical supplies we brought, and today venturing into the Burmese pharmaceutical world to get some medications for some of the conditions that are fairly easily diagnosed. 

While there are several students and children with more serious problems, the most prevalent problems that I've seen are dental and vision conditions.  These are areas we would like to focus on for future trips and training here in Myanmar, and are beginning to have conversations about how best to help in these areas, in both short term and long term capacities.

Today we had rehearsal for the bible college graduation, which will be tomorrow morning.  "Reverend Nick" is going to be commissioning the 18 graduates. 

I think the awesomeness of these photos speak for themselves: 

The days are flying by!  3 more full days and then I'm off to Sri Lanka! 

Please pray for wisdom as we continue conversations here about what we can do now, and strategize for future trips and relief work here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Faces of Myanmar

Below are a few of the 45 bible college students we assessed on the first day. They are wonderfully joyful, love music, and are being taught to make bunk beds by an American named Nevin who is has been here for about 3 weeks.  The bunk beds are going to the children at the children's home, and there is potential that they may be able to start somewhat of a business selling beds and over furniture.